The European Union (EU) Parliament has approved a new crypto licensing regime, Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA), with a vote of 517-38 in favor of the regulation.
This landmark decision makes the EU the first major jurisdiction globally to introduce a comprehensive crypto law. The EU Parliament also passed a law on the Transfer of Funds regulation with a vote of 529-29, requiring crypto operators to identify their customers to prevent money laundering.
Under the new rules, crypto wallet providers and exchanges will have to seek a license to operate across the EU, and issuers of stablecoins tied to the value of other assets must maintain sufficient reserves. The provisions are set to apply from June 2024, just over 12 months after publication in the EU’s official journal.
According to Stefan Berger, the lawmaker responsible for negotiating the new regulations, the recent vote by the EU Parliament to introduce regulatory clarity to the crypto-asset industry is a crucial milestone. Berger expressed his belief that the new rules would establish the EU as a leader in the token economy, adding that such clarity had previously been lacking in the industry. Meanwhile, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) welcomed the decision and announced that it would soon disclose its schedule for drafting secondary legislation under MiCA.
This new regulation is seen as a significant step towards protecting consumers, safeguarding financial stability and market integrity in the crypto-asset market. It will be interesting to see how this decision will impact the global crypto market and how other major jurisdictions will respond to the EU’s new regulatory regime.